This report provides a complete review of free-from food and avoided ingredients in food and drink, from a market and consumer perspective. Below, we’ve summarized the key topics covered and provided handpicked insights from the report.

Key Topics Covered

  • Ingredients avoided and claims utilized.
  • Reasons for ingredient avoidance.
  • Opinions and attitudes toward labels, claims, and ingredients.
  • External factors influencing claim and ingredient perceptions.
  • Brand activity.

Free-From Industry Outlook

While consumers continue to be mindful of food and drink compounds known to cause harm in excess, like sugar and artificial additives, the compromise on flavor and shelf-life are understood. Looking ahead, tech and ingredient innovations that improve food processing solutions’ palatability (i.e. shelf life/flavor) will make processed products more approachable.

Free-From Industry: Consumer Statistics

  • Sugar and “realness” claims remain at the forefront: 43% of consumers say “no added sugars” claims impact their food and drink purchase decisions, while a third of consumers resonate with claims related to a lack of artificial ingredients.
  • Brands can shape—or be shaped by—social narratives: Younger consumers take cues on ingredient avoidance from online/social media more than older generations, at least until professional guidance is received.
  • Labels leave a lasting impression on consumers: Those who place less importance on labels state busy labels as a reason. Yet, even 21% of consumers who say claim labels aren’t very important have learned about ingredients to avoid from them.

What’s Next for the Free-From Market?

This report indicates that focusing on potential threats in food and drink is fatiguing consumers, although ingredient call-outs are part of the consideration process. Going forward, novel ingredients and technologies can meet consumer skepticism with straightforward communication.

Find a complete analysis of opportunities for free-from brands in the full report. Or, you can browse our extensive libraries of food market research or drinks market reports.

Leading Brands Referenced

Madly Hadley, PeaTos, Oat Haus, Applegate Naturals, H-E-B Select Ingredients, Hu Hunks, Masienda, I Eat My Greens, Sweet Nothings, and more.

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Expert Analysis

Leading food and drink analyst Adriana Chychula delivers in-depth expert insight with this report.

It’s human nature to seek out max enjoyment for least perceived harm. Understanding consumer concerns and barriers can help formulations stay relevant as trends change.

Adriana Chychula, Analyst – Food, Drink, and Nutrition


Adriana Chychula
Analyst, Food, Drink & Nutrition

Table of Contents

    • Key issues covered in this Report
  1. Executive Summary

  2. Consumer Insights

    • Consumer fast facts
    • Impactful claims in food/drink purchase
    • Graph 1: impactful claims in food/drink purchase, 2023
    • Graph 2: impactful claims in food/drink purchase, by financial health, 2023
    • Graph 3: impactful claims in food/drink purchase, by generation, 2023
    • Graph 4: impactful claims in food/drink purchase, by parental status, 2023
    • Ingredients avoided
    • Graph 5: ingredient avoidance, 2023
    • Graph 6: ingredient avoidance, by financial health, NET – avoidance, 2023
    • Graph 7: ingredient avoidance, palm oil, by financial health, 2023
    • Graph 8: ingredient avoidance, NET avoid, by generation, 2023
    • Graph 9: ingredient avoidance, MSG, by generation, 2023
    • Graph 10: ingredient avoidance, by parental status, 2023
    • Reasons for ingredient avoidance
    • Graph 11: reasons for ingredient avoidance, 2023
    • Graph 12: reasons for ingredient avoidance, by generation, 2023
    • Graph 13: reasons for ingredient avoidance, by parental status, 2023
    • Opinions toward food and drink claims and labels
    • Graph 14: food and drink claim and label opinions, 2023
    • Graph 15: food and drink claim and label opinions, by generation, 2023
    • Graph 16: food and drink claim and label opinions, by financial health, 2023
    • Opinions toward ingredients
    • Graph 17: opinions toward ingredients, 2023
    • Graph 18: opinions toward ingredients, by generation, 2023
    • Graph 19: opinions toward ingredients, by parental status, 2023
    • Attitudes toward ingredients and labels
    • Graph 20: attitudes toward ingredients and labels, 2023
    • Graph 21: attitudes toward ingredients and labels, by parental status 2023
    • Graph 22: attitudes toward ingredients and labels, 2023
    • Graph 23: attitudes toward ingredients and labels, by generation, 2023
  3. STATE OF THE Market

    • Claim trends in food and drink
    • Graph 24: claim category changes, 2019-23
    • Graph 25: Free-from and related claims in food, 2019-23
    • Graph 26: drink claim category changes, 2019-23
    • Graph 27: free-from and related claims in drink, 2019-23
    • Graph 28: nutrition facts/ingredients lists importance, 2023
    • Graph 29: claim importance, 2023
    • Graph 30: important food and drink claims, 2020-22
    • Graph 31: important free-from claims, by repertoire of claims, 2023
    • Market drivers
    • Graph 32: attitudes toward sustainability, 2023
  4. Competitive Strategies

    • Launch activity and innovation
    • Opportunities
    • Graph 33: better-for-you attitudes, 2023
  5. Product development: what’s now

    • Graph 34: opinions toward ingredients, by repertoire of claims used, 2023
    • Graph 35: attitudes toward ingredients and labels, 2023
    • Graph 36: attitudes toward sustainability in food and drink, 2023
  6. Product development: what’s next

    • Graph 37: interest in innovations, 2023
    • Graph 38: attitudes toward ingredients and labels, 2023
  7. Appendix

    • Graph 39: opinions toward food and drink claims, labels, by label or claim importance, 2023

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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